Knights learn from ear­lier loss

La Salle cap­tures lo­cal se­nior boys rugby ti­tle; Na­pa­nee boots way to girls cham­pi­onship

Kingston Whig-Standard - - SPORTS - DOUG GRA­HAM

The La Salle Black Knights are gear­ing up for Tues­day’s Eastern On­tario high school se­nior boys rugby cham­pi­onship af­ter cap­tur­ing their sec­ond straight Kingston Area ti­tle on Thurs­day.

The Knights, build­ing up a 12-0 first-half lead, went on to de­feat the Re­giopo­lis-Notre Dame Pan­thers 19-10 in the Kingston Area Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion ti­tle match at Nixon Field.

The girls rugby crown was de­cided on penalty kicks in over­time with the Na­pa­nee Golden Hawks pre­vail­ing, 18-15 over La Salle, also at Nixon Field.

La Salle se­nior boys coach Reuben Brunet felt it was a les­son learned from the Knights’ reg­u­lar-sea­son meet­ing against the Pan­thers — a game won 19-12 by Re­giopo­lis — that ben­e­fited his play­ers.

“You learn a lot from a loss. I think we did a lot of re­flect­ing af­ter Regi beat us. It was prob­a­bly the best thing for us,” Brunet said.

“In the reg­u­lar sea­son, Regi beat us in the phys­i­cal game, I thought. In this game, I’m not go­ing to say the ta­bles were to­tally re­versed, but I thought it was very even.”

Out­side cen­tre Burke Der­byshire scored two tries and hooker Jack Cote added the other for the Knights. Ethan Boskamp con­verted twice.

Der­byshire’s first try was on a run of about 40 me­tres.

“We got off to a very good start. We con­trolled the play the first five to 10 min­utes,” Brunet said. “We knew com­ing in that Regi was re­ally good at steal­ing the ball in con­tact. So we worked very hard at get­ting [sup­port] to our guy car­ry­ing the ball and hav­ing good rucks.”

Der­byshire added a sec­ond try af­ter a great kick by Mitch Dowd put the ball deep in Regi ter­ri­tory. Off a scrum, Der­byshire took the pass and put the ball down in the cor­ner.

Brunet said fly half Dowd played his best game in his five years wear­ing the black and gold.

“Mitch called a great game of of­fence. He saw the field well and kicked the ball well from our fly half spot all game. It was awe­some,” Brunet said.

Regi did score first in the sec­ond half to cut La Salle’s lead to 12-5, but the Knights re­sponded with the Cote try, con­verted by Boskamp.

“Col­lec­tively, the coach­ing staff knew we needed to re­spond and we did,” Brunet said. “The one thing I take away is how hard our kids played. Oh geez they played hard.”

The Knights will now head to Smiths Falls for a Thurs­day game against the Red Hawks in the sin­gle-game Eastern On­tario Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion cham­pi­onship. The win­ner will move on to the On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tions cham­pi­onship, June 1-3 in Ot­tawa.

In the girls KASSAA cham­pi­onship, the Golden Hawks and Knights, af­ter ty­ing 5-5 in their reg­u­lar-sea­son meet­ing and fin­ish­ing tied for first with 4-0-1 records, were tied again Thurs­day af­ter reg­u­la­tion play at 10-10.

La Salle took a 15-10 lead in the first over­time pe­riod, but Na­pa­nee came back late in the sec­ond pe­riod to force the game to penalty kicks. Af­ter sev­eral rounds of kick­ing, the Golden Hawks got the win­ning kick to move them on to EOSSAA on Tues­day in Ot­tawa.

“What a heart­breaker,” La Salle coach Brunet said. “Prob­a­bly one of the most en­joy­able, fun rugby games I’ve ev­ery par­tic­i­pated in.

“The Na­pa­nee kids are classy. It is what you want [high school] ath­let­ics to be all about.”

Brunet said his play­ers “played their hearts out.”

“Our girls knew they had done ev­ery­thing they could. It’s a tough way to lose, but my hat goes off to the Na­pa­nee girls,” Brunet said.

While the Golden Hawks won the KASSAA ti­tle and move on to AAA rugby play at Car­leton Univer­sity Tues­day, La Salle will go on to Pem­broke in AA play. The Knights will be the No. 1 seed in a four-team cham­pi­onship to de­cide the OFSAA en­try for June 1-3 in Oshawa.

KASSAA notes

The boys ju­nior rugby semi­fi­nals are Tues­day. The first-place Fron­tenac Fal­cons host Re­giopo­lis in one game, while the Holy Cross Cru­saders are at home to La Salle in the other game. The KASSAA fi­nal is Fri­day . ... The Kingston Blues, af­ter win­ning the KASSAA se­nior boys ti­tle on Thurs­day, will host the EOSSAA cham­pi­onship on Wed­nes­day at Richard­son Sta­dium. The pro­vin­cial AA fi­nal is in North Bay, June 1-3.

IAN MACALPINE/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

La Salle Black Knights’ Dakota Sharpe tries to get out of the grasp of a Na­pa­nee Golden Hawks player dur­ing the Kingston Area Sec­ondary Schools Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion girls rugby cham­pi­onship at Nixon Field on Thurs­day. Na­pa­nee won the game, 18-15, in penalty kicks af­ter the teams were tied through over­time.

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